A caring relationship, plus a job lift a gang member from the streets into a life of hope and success. Hope Now For Youth is a local non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization, endorsed by the Fresno Business Council and civic leaders, whose purpose is to bring youth out of gangs into a productive life through loving and caring relationships and jobs.
Hope Now For Youth employs former Hope Now youth whose lives have changed to serve as both role models and vocational placement counselors who find gainful employment for at-risk gang young men, ages 16 to 24. As of the fall of 2015 we have placed over 2,000 youth, most of whom are gang members with criminal records, in first-time jobs. Almost all of these youths are on parole or probation and over 65% are school dropouts. No fees are paid by businesses or the youths for our service. Over 300 Fresno area businesses have employed a Hope Now youth since 1993. We estimate that 85% of the young men who complete the Hope Now program retain their jobs.
The philosophical basis of Hope Now is the Christian ethical value system…because it works! Change in a young person’s life occurs only through a long-term relationship of love, help, and understanding. Hope for a better future comes from faith in a loving God who holds the future in his hands.
Hope Now For Youth is a cost-effective method for dealing with juvenile crime. Just how effective can be determined from the fact that it costs upwards of $95,000 per year to prosecute and incarcerate a youth. By contrast, it costs just over $5,000 for Hope Now to do the relationship-building, (re)parenting, mentoring, job preparedness training, job development and job placement and follow-up to lift an at-risk youth from the streets into the American mainstream. Marriage and Family Classes are offered to further stabilize the youth and his loved ones. Hope Now’s current budget of $700,000, provides for nine full-time employees, and is supported by hundreds of concerned individuals, service and professional organizations, churches, businesses, and foundations.
As a Christian organization, we believe that spiritual hope offered through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is essential to long-term personal change.
There is “hope now” for gang youth; young men who need to begin to believe they have a good future and who can work toward it in a job. The best way to protect your investment in this community is by investing in these youth. Will you help?